Individual residencies / Andorra


From Tuesday, 7 September 2021 to Monday, 27 September 2021

Journalist and Writer


Albert Forns Canal (Granollers, 1982) is a freelance journalist and writer. He works for the magazines L'Avenç and Time Out Barcelona and the newspapers ARA and La Vanguardia. As a writer he has published the novels ‘Abans de les cinc som a casa’ (Edicions 62, 2020), winner of the BBVA Sant Joan Prize; ‘Jambalaia’ (Anagrama, 2016), winner of the Anagrama Prize; and ‘Albert Serra (la novel·la, no el cineasta)’ (Empúries, 2013), winner of the Documenta Prize.


My great-uncle was a famous maqui, a young and brave idealist guerrilla fighter who crossed the French frontier many times in boicot and sabotage missions against the francoist authorities. He fought for freedom until the Guardia Civil chased him in 1948, ambushed in Barcelona. They shot him in cold blood when he was only 28.

In researching his life for a possible new novel, the Faber Andorra residency will be a great base camp to explore the Pyrenees, following the paths of the maquis in their incursions in order to write from a first-person experience how they crossed the moutains during the night, carrying weapons and amunition.

For me, writing residencies are one of the seven wonders of humanity. They are the last safe haven and the last hope for writers—especially if, as in my case, they work in a minority language such as Catalan. I have previously spent some time at residencies in the United States and Hungary, and have always felt at home and have left feeling enriched. This is because they offer the opportunity to do on-site research and because they enable me to work calmly and without interruption, far-removed from the daily routine, my job as a journalist and all the ongoing news.

The Faber residency in Andorra has been no exception and I have had the pleasure of working here for three weeks of seclusion and intense productivity. It was not quite My Year of Rest and Relaxation, as described by Ottessa Moshfegh in her novel, but it was still three good weeks of work and concentration, because a period of isolation such as this is perfect for focusing and immersing yourself in the project. My days spent at Faber have allowed me to plan a clear course for my work and writing for the next few months. Moreover, I have been able to do research into the Pyrenees crossings, carried out by the Maquis as well as smugglers and refugees, an occurrence I was not familiar with and in which Andorra played quite a central role. And I had the chance to experience all this in first person while in the mountains, hiking around the Sorteny Valley and the Port de Siguer, as well as the Incles Valley and the Fontargents trails.

The residency apartment perfectly fulfilled my needs as a writer seeking tranquillity and wishing to have everything at hand. And, with Valira only a stone's throw away, the location truly is wonderful, providing a perfect setting in which to rest. Or to continue working, since some of my best ideas came to me whilst I was walking through the forests of the Principality.

Notícies, articles i activitats

This website only uses session cookies for technical and analytical purposes. It does not compile or assign users’ personal data without their consent. This website does, however, use third-party cookies for statistical purposes. You can obtain further information or manage or reject cookies by clicking on "+ Info".